Summary: Understanding that God created the world: 1. Saves us from living in ignorance. 2. Helps us to understand that we are accountable. 3. Helps us to understand that God is in charge of history.
The Creation Debate
Genesis 1:1-5, 31; 2:1-4
In a 2005 poll conducted by Newsweek and Beliefnet, people were asked the question: “Do you believe that God created the universe?” 80 percent of those responding said the universe was created by God. It is interesting that after all the money and effort our universities and educational systems have spent on instructing people about evolution that 80 percent of people still believe that there is a God, and that he created the world. Only ten percent taking the poll said the universe was not created by God. One percent said they did not believe in God. Nine percent said they didn’t know. That’s all very interesting, but in the end, it doesn’t matter what people believe. If God actually created the world, it does not matter if 100% of the human race does not believe it, it is still true. God does not live and work by the results of polls. For instance, you are perfectly free to believe that the pulpit I am standing behind simply evolved over a period of time. Now, we all know that is not true since it has a definite design, but you can believe that if you want. Someone with a name created this piece of furniture and it definitely exists. It would not matter if everyone in this room, or everyone in the world for that matter, did not believe this pulpit had a creator who existed, it would not alter the reality of the pulpit or its creator in any way. Something deep inside all of us knows this, and that is why I am not bothered by the theory of atheistic evolution. It is the same reason that 80 percent of people in this country still believe that the world was created by God: We see design and know there had to be a Designer.
Some sincere Christians believe that God created the world by using the evolutionary process. They don’t believe the world is the result of random chance or an accident, they believe it was created, but that God used evolution in creating the world. Some Christians believe that God created the world in seven literal 24 hour days, others believe it was more like seven million years. It could have been seven seconds for all I know, but the fact is that however he did it, using whatever method and time period he chose, God created the world. This is ground zero for our faith. Everything we believe hinges on and grows out of this fact. Everything we understand about the world and life stems from whether we believe that God started all this, or that it is all an accident. The whole scheme of redemption — God coming to the world in the person of Jesus to live before us and die for us — is ridiculous unless we are the creation of a God who tremendously loves us because he made us, and will do anything to bring us back to himself.
This basic understanding that God created the world helps us in many ways. The first way is: It saves us from living in ignorance. If you understand that there is a God who created all that exists, you understand that there is a design and purpose to life, and your life in particular. You have the understanding that there is Someone who is holding all this together and is watching out for us. God, in his love, has made the world a livable, good place and supplied us with everything we need and much more. The Psalmist expressed this poetically when he wrote:
How many are your works, O Lord!
In wisdom you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
There is the sea, vast and spacious,
teeming with creatures beyond number —
living things both large and small. . .
These all look to you
to give them their food at the proper time” (Psalm 104:24-27).
One of the novels from C. S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series is titled The Magician’s Nephew. In symbolic language it tells the story of the creation of the world by telling how Aslan — the lion who represents Jesus — created Narnia by singing it into existence. However, there is one character who refuses to hear the song. Listen as Lewis tells the story: “When the great moment came and the beast spoke, he [Uncle Andrew] missed the whole point for a rather interesting reason. When the lion had first begun singing, long ago when it was still quite dark, he had realized that the noise was a song. And he had disliked the song very much. It made him think and feel things he did not want to think and feel. Then, when the sun rose and he saw that the singer was a lion (“only a lion,” as he said to himself) he tried his hardest to make himself believe that it wasn’t singing and never had been singing — only roaring as any lion might in a zoo in our own world. ‘Of course it can’t really have been singing,’ he thought, ‘I must have imagined it. I’ve been letting my nerves get out of order. Who ever heard of a lion singing?’ And the longer and more beautifully the lion sang, the harder Uncle Andrew tried to make himself believe that he could hear nothing but roaring. Now the trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed. Uncle Andrew did. He soon did hear nothing but roaring in Aslan’s song. Soon he couldn’t have heard anything else even if he had wanted to. And when at last the lion spoke and said, ‘Narnia awake,’ he didn’t hear any words: he heard only a snarl.”